Arafat Aides Leave Peace Talks Predicting Failure at Camp David
Three Palestinian figures left the United States on Monday and a fourth was to follow Tuesday after failing to enter Camp David for a meeting with President Yasser Arafat during the Middle East peace summit, an official said.
Arafat had invited a dozen senior Palestinian leaders, including ministers and Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee members, to the heavily guarded US presidential retreat to consult on the peace negotiations.
Committee member Suleiman Najab said: "I doubt the summit will produce a final agreement between the two parties.
"We wanted to meet Arafat, but the Americans objected to this," said Najab who was to fly out Tuesday. "We did manage to consult him (over the phone), but we can do this at home so we are going back."
The Palestinians have accused the United States of isolating Arafat in talks with the Israelis to pressure him into concessions.
Nabil Amr, minister of parliamentary affairs, and committee members Samir Ghosheh and Taysir Khaled went home Monday as did Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi who operated as a spokeswoman on the sidelines of the summit for a week despite a news blackout.
"We don't know much about what is going on," Ashrawi admitted.
In a bid to aid the search for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, all delegations at Camp David have agreed to a code of secrecy and none are supposed to be allowed in and out other than US officials -- THURMONT, Maryland (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)